Understanding Domestic Violence takes time, patience and empathy. Victims escaping the clutches are often hard-wired into the chaos, torture and control of the narcissistic abuser which takes every ounce of strength to escape and start the healing process.
Last Sales Conference of the Apocalypse takes you on a musical sporadic and at times disjointed journey through the eyes of the abuser and victims caught up in the devastating cycles of Domestic Abuse. Ranging from “loving” partners to parent/child relationships.
Art often imitates life experiences and tackles uncomfortable situations. Samuel (Jonny Brace) University drop out who is a running a company without any customers or revenue coming in. The highlight of his day is a visit from the DPD horseman delivery driver T-Base (Daniel Nyari).
I particularly liked the idea when Stats (Katie Penfold) becomes part of a VR game of Space Invaders. Instead of tackling alien spaceships attempting to take over the world. Her fellow work colleagues become her life space invaders zapping away at her self-esteem (Lifebar) until she finally has nothing left to exit the level and succumbs to being controlled by what appears to be her abusive alcoholic Father.
Raising awareness about domestic abuse through different relationships and showing that age, sexuality and gender don’t prevent you from becoming a victim is important. Although with so many themes being delivered at once it can become hard to follow at times and slightly confusing, this is possibly deliberate to show how much DA distorts the victim’s perspective of reality and questions everything they say or do.
There’s a host of original toe tapping musical numbers accompanying this performance written by the director and writer Dave Bain. Some of these appear to have been influenced by the 80’s pop music era along with the straight multi-coloured strobe lighting effects.
I was intrigued to find out more about Aesha’s “stay at home cactus” mentioned by Samuel at the beginning of the musical, sadly it is never bought up in the conversations again.
An intriguing attempt to combine DA and musical theatre. Although at just over 120 minutes at times it felt strained and would benefit from the performance time being reduced. The cast of four work very well together and have a strong rapport.
For more information on this production, Skitzoid Productions or any of the themes mentioned in the article please visit the links below.